Microsoft? Meet Microsoft

Two recent things at Microsoft mystify me:

  1. How Microsoft didn’t sync the news of the delays of Office (today) to the news in the delays of Windows Vista (two days ago).
  2. That Microsoft made so much earlier in the week of how Steven Sinofsky, the new Windows supremo, had ridden herd on Office, and how that qualified him to straighten out the misfiring Windows Vista team.

It’s like the company doesn’t know what the hell is going on inside.


  1. In the organized digital age one would think that a company providing software organizational tools would be better organized and coordinated as far as press releases. However, the MS Giant is a BIG boat to steer and there are lots of icebugs[sic] in the water. Steven Sinofsky (cya) has proven to have systems for getting the Office boat to port on time. As for the Office delayed response, there are most likely considerations for the reworks on Vista for Office now.

  2. The Office delay is most likely a decision to make the releases coincident rather than a coding problem. But that doesn’t address your point why they weren’t announced together. From my experience inside MSFT planning has never been their strong point. They do write and get to solid code eventually but the plan to get there is loose. I always tried to get true project planners into the organization while I was there but the software industry participants seem to view themselves as not needing that kind of expertise.
    The second point is that there is very little accountability at MSFT. While they go through the motions – strategic reviews, etc. – no one ever goes back to see what people signed up to do and then punish or reward appropriately. The main reason for this problem is the way Balmer institutes planning in MSFT. He admires companies like GE but really has no sense of how to run a ship like them. The best thing MSFT could do is hire someone from a traditional business background and traditional industry. After all their high growth days are behind them now they need to run a tight, lower cost ship.